In COVID19-hit Kashmir, a ‘masaa’le tchout’ wrapped in hospital certificate

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The “confidential” in-patient certificates issued by the Government Medical College (GMC), Srinagar, are being used by a street vendor to sell masaa’le tchout – Kashmiri roadside snack, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The certificates of the GMC Srinagar’s Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, being used by the vendor, were flagged by a local resident who had clicked its picture at Foreshore Road.

The picture, shared with The Kashmir Walla, shows a basket full of masaa’le tchout along with the in-patient certificates. “As soon as I saw the certificate, I checked the basket and found more than a dozen more certificates,” the resident said.

One of the certificates had M.R.D number 0040352 and the date of admission was 04/03/21 – which was the beginning of the second wave of COVID19 in the region.

The certificates had the stamp of Sub-district Hospital Hazratbal on them, the resident said. “The hospital is being used as a COVID testing centre. This is so unsafe,” he said.

The resident said that he immediately asked the street vendor about how he had got access to the certificates. “He told me that he had the certificates for the past three years, however the date on the certificates was 4 March 2021,” he added.

The certificates being used to wrap the food made Khan panic as the certificates had been recently issued to patients. “People were eating it carelessly without noticing what was wrapped around it,” he said.

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